Detroit Lions 7-round mock draft: Before the free agency frenzy

Right before free agency gets going, here's a fresh 7-round mock draft for the Detroit Lions.

Ricardo B. Brazziell/American-Statesman
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First Round,No. 29 overall
Byron Murphy, DT, Texas

With the top cornerbacks off the board, and it feeling like a reach for another position in the first, Murphy stood out as the best player available here.

Murphy came in a little lighter than ideal at the combine (297 pounds, at a little over 6-foot tall). But he is a high-end pass rusher from the inside (45 pressures on 273 pass rush snaps last season, according to Pro Football Focus), with high marks for his explosiveness, energy, hand usage, etc. As a run defender, he gets high marks for natural leverage (low center of gravity helps?), taking on blocks and still be able to disrupt things.

Murphy would look pretty nice next to Alim McNeill on the Lions' interior defensive line.

Second Round, No. 61 overall
Kris Abrams-Draine, CB, Missouri

Ennis Rakestraw has been a popular mock draft pick for the Lions with their first-round pick, but there's a case for his college teammate Abrams-Draine as a better fit. No less an authority than Holmes said so at the combine.

"Those guys, I know the money-maker is ball production, and that's first and foremost, but you've got to tackle, too. The more and more you see, when your corners are tackling, that can really define who you are on defense. Yeah, those guys, the really good ones, are hard to find."

Abrams-Draine missed just 11 tackles during his college career. He played both in the slot and outside in college, and in man and zone coverage.

Abrams-Draine started his career at Missouri as a wide receiver, before moving to cornerback and becoming a started for his last three seasons. Over his final two seasons, he had 27 pass breakups and 98 total tackles. Opponents wanting to avoid Rakestraw went the other direction and Abrams-Draine was up to the task, earning First Team All-SEC honors last season.

The primary knock on Abrams-Draine is his size (5-foot-11, 179 pounds), and the residual concerns that comes with (going against bigger NFL receivers, etc.). But he fits the template Holmes wants in a cornerback, backed by what new defensive backs coach Deshea Townsend has already said is a pre-requisite to play in his secondary.